By Diamon Hall and Kayla Garritano

Perhaps you reconnected with the girl who used to pinch you on the playground, the professor who inspired you to land your dream job or a long lost distant relative who lives in Germany. Whatever it may be, websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or Instagram are used in many different creative ways. In fact, it seems that people can hardly function without social media nowadays. It helps you keep in touch with family, friends and even people you wouldn’t normally communicate with if it weren’t for those sites. If social media can help you in the platonic aspects of your life, then it can certainly help your love life, whether that means meeting a new flame or enhancing a relationship you already have.

This dating advice can help you use social media to find that special someone:

1. More ways to keep in touch: Just like social media can help you keep in touch with family and friends, it can also help you keep in touch with your mate. You may not always be able to pick up your phone to call or even shoot a text. If you’re at work and there’s a computer available, it’s probably easier to log on to a social site like Facebook and chat for a quick minute or send a personal message just to say, “I love you.”

2. Dig deeper before the first date: If you’re just meeting someone for the first time and about to go on your date night, social media can greatly assist you in figuring out who this person is and what you can expect. Although you shouldn’t judge solely on what you read online, the image someone gives off via social media sites can be telling. Browse through their identifying information, photos, and friend’s comments. Often times it’s insightful to see how a potential partner interacts with others.

Related Link: Relationship Experts Q&A: Does Social Media Stalking Create False Intimacy?

3. Stay close even when distant: You or your honey may have to go out of town without the other sometimes, such as going on a business trip. You can upload pictures of yourself to let them know what’s occupying your time while they’re not there on Instagram or Facebook. Twitter also let’s you update followers about your life as many times as you want. Snapchat, you’re just a picture away from sharing with your partner the most current unflattering photo you could take, or putting a goofy filter on. Facebook has even incorporated video chat on their site, which is a great way to seemingly shrink the distance between the two of you.

4. Communicate more with his or her family: Social media is a way around being the shy one at the extended family dinner table. Your partner’s family is going to want to see you in person sometimes, but for the other times, talk to them via a social site. They’ll be thrilled to know you think enough of them to include them in your virtual social life. Plus, they get a chance to see what you and your partner do with the pictures you up!

Related Link: Love Advice Q&A: How Do I Show My Interest In Someone Online?

5. Meet through mutual friends: Sometimes you meet the love of your life through mutual friends. Social media makes it easier to find mutual friends. Whether it’s by a retweet that you share, or a like on a friend’s picture, it’s a simple gesture to know that they exist. You can even sneak into a friend’s snapchat when she’s sending silly pics to her closest friends. Plus, you can go the extra mile and “follow” or “friend” them. Who knows what could happen!

How has social media helped your relationship?  Share your experiences below.